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  #1  
Old Jan 20, '12, 10:21 am
RedEyeKnight RedEyeKnight is offline
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Exclamation "Give up all your possessions and follow me"

I was in an intellectual discussion with a man who is an ex-Christian and ex-Muslim and follows his inner spirit. We've had philosophical, scientific, and theoretical discussions before. Yet, he did shine on a certain subject. He brought up the scene where Jesus told the rich man to "give up all your possessions and follow me". With this, he claimed that most Christians are hypocrites who say they follow Christ who put Not of This World stickers on the back of their expensive cars. Also, he expresses his distaste of Republican candidates of the richer socioeconomic classes who claim they are Christian who do not care of their fellow man. I suggested that Christians of higher economic classes should charitably donate to those less fortunate. However, Jesus told him to "give up all your possessions". So are we failing as Christians?
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  #2  
Old Jan 20, '12, 10:24 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: "Give up all your possessions and follow me"

Such is a "counsel" not a commandment. Some are called to embrace it (like monks).

Though we do need to rightly use our possessions and of course be detached.
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Old Jan 20, '12, 10:47 am
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bmullins bmullins is offline
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Default Re: "Give up all your possessions and follow me"

Many interpret that scripture to be a specific teaching to the rich man. That Jesus knew his heart and knew that the rich man had an attachment to his physical things. Notice the young man went away troubled instead of following him. Jesus reminds us that in all things we must choose God first. That if anything stands in our way, we've made an idol of it.

Some of the earlier monks indeed believed that Jesus gave us the command to live in poverty. St. Francis of Assisi took it to be a literal thing and gave up everything. Modern day Christians like Francis Chan are doing much the same, and encouraging a radical giving that many Christians are uncomfortable with.

So I think that yes, we should indeed be giving as much as we can and until it hurts. Tightening our belts to give. I don't know that God wants all of us to live in poverty though. For me, I know that God has called me to a life of minimalism. I try to give as much as I can, and I don't care much to have many material possessions.
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Old Jan 20, '12, 11:11 am
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JRKH JRKH is offline
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Default Re: "Give up all your possessions and follow me"

I too think that most tend to gloss over this passage (me included for a very long time), but at the same time I think that too much weight can be given to it.

While not all are called to the office of "itinerant preacher" or monasticism or other such lifestyle, there certainly are principles of good common sense that need to be applied.
For instance...Regardless of how much money one makes:
Is there any need for a 15 or 20 room house when 6 or 7 will do?
Is there any need to own a car with all the "bells and whistles", when a more basic model will do?
Is there need to eat out several times a month when you have a perfectly good kitchen at home?
If one owns a business, is it always good to increase profits by cutting jobs?

None of the above, or the huge number of additional possibilities, has any pat answer.
The only thing that we can say is that there are principles that, if properly applied, will give a good balance.

The key lies not in the possessions, the "things", but in what they mean to us. If we see these things in the selfish way (mine...mine...mine...gimme...gimme...) then we are indeed failing as Christians.
If we see them as tools to be used for the Glory of God in Love, then this outlook will prompt us to do great good.

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  #5  
Old Jan 20, '12, 11:13 am
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Leegal Leegal is offline
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Default Re: "Give up all your possessions and follow me"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedEyeKnight View Post
I was in an intellectual discussion with a man who is an ex-Christian and ex-Muslim and follows his inner spirit. We've had philosophical, scientific, and theoretical discussions before. Yet, he did shine on a certain subject. He brought up the scene where Jesus told the rich man to "give up all your possessions and follow me". With this, he claimed that most Christians are hypocrites who say they follow Christ who put Not of This World stickers on the back of their expensive cars. Also, he expresses his distaste of Republican candidates of the richer socioeconomic classes who claim they are Christian who do not care of their fellow man. I suggested that Christians of higher economic classes should charitably donate to those less fortunate. However, Jesus told him to "give up all your possessions". So are we failing as Christians?
For some, yes. But even diocesan or secular priests are not required to "give up all their possessions."

I agree in part about materialism -- owning for the sake of owning something or many somethings -- the newest of everything when you have a functional item that serves its purpose. What good is having several cars when you can only drive one? Do you need iphone4 if you have a functional iphone? If you are one person who collects expensive cars or has to buy the first and newest -- that's materialism. Not that a family should have only one car for all because that's simply not possible in our society.

And do we give up our possessions when we have family, to their detriment? I would say a father who gives up the family possesions is NOT following his call to his vocation as husband and parent in leaving his family without and without security and is defying God in misplaced understanding of his obligations.

I suggest that Democrats and Republicans who are monied both give to charity. I didn't know that money and "caring" only knows one political party -- only that it's the Republicans who are having their primaries now. Obama has done well -- let's see how much of his money went to charity if he releases tax returns. The Clintons never had a home until AFTER leaving the Presidency -- let's see how much they give in proportion to Clinton's ability to earn money giving speeches.

The sword cuts both ways. The answer is moderation in all things.
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  #6  
Old Jan 20, '12, 11:58 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: "Give up all your possessions and follow me"

The tricky thing about Jesus is that you have to know the guy in whole before applying one single lesson or you can misunderstand him rather badly. This same Jesus who told the earnest rich young man that he needed to give up all his possessions routinely ate with wealthy tax collectors and rebuked some of his followers when a young woman "wasted" an entire jar of expensive perfume to treat his feet.

What you get out of all this at the end is that Jesus was talking to a specific young man, not writing a prescription to any and everybody with some money in the bank. That particular young man appears to have derived his identity and security from his wealth. He wasn't a bad sort, which is why Jesus loved him and told him what HE needed to do to move on to the next step.

I have no doubt that a great many modern christians suffer a similar malady. But we should be rather hesitant to be the one who decide who they are. Best to just make sure that YOU don't first.

Now can I put my "I love Jesus" sticker on my 17 year old econocar please?
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Old Jan 20, '12, 12:04 pm
Buck Crosswhite Buck Crosswhite is offline
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Default Re: "Give up all your possessions and follow me"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedEyeKnight View Post
I was in an intellectual discussion with a man who is an ex-Christian and ex-Muslim and follows his inner spirit. We've had philosophical, scientific, and theoretical discussions before. Yet, he did shine on a certain subject. He brought up the scene where Jesus told the rich man to "give up all your possessions and follow me". With this, he claimed that most Christians are hypocrites who say they follow Christ who put Not of This World stickers on the back of their expensive cars. Also, he expresses his distaste of Republican candidates of the richer socioeconomic classes who claim they are Christian who do not care of their fellow man. I suggested that Christians of higher economic classes should charitably donate to those less fortunate. However, Jesus told him to "give up all your possessions". So are we failing as Christians?
Jesus was talking to one person not everyone.
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